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Re: [ontolog-forum] Copyright in Taxonomies: Leading case in US law (ADA

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2010 11:39:20 -0500
Message-id: <0F95F84D-C905-45F5-9904-D5E456E5BE82@xxxxxxxx>
On Oct 29, 2010, at 10:41 AM, "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Peter and Chris,
> PFB:
>>> Can you point me to a “classification *system*” that is not
>>> human-created?
> CM:
>> Of course not.  No one is disputing that.  The disputed claim is that
>> no such systems "reflect any 'natural' objective truth or set of
>> 'facts'". That is an utter non sequitur.
> That depends on whether the judge is a nominalist or a realist.    (01)

I have to disagree, John.  From the fact that classification systems are 
human-created *alone* neither realism nor anti-realism follows. That was all I 
was claiming.  Also, I don't think the realism/nominalism distinction is on the 
mark here. The medieval realism/nominalism debate concerned the existence of 
abstract, platonic entities. That is not the type of realism I was referring to 
in my post. The realism I was referring to is the doctrine that there is an 
objective, external world in virtue of which our scientific theories are true 
or false. Traditional nominalism is entirely compatible with realism in this 
sense. What you describe seems to me to be what philosophers of science refer 
to as instrumentalism.       (02)

-chris    (03)

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